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An architectural and social inventory of the past and the present: documenting the 19th century houses in Menteşbey

Uğur, Selen
Culture and all of its aspects are best reflected in the home environments. Home is not only a house which is a shelter but a place with social, psychological and emotional associations, and manifests in the continous use of a house. Continuity of use in the home environments is both conceptual and physical, and this can be observed in traditional or historical domestic contexts, to which the Ottoman vernacular house is an example. This study introduces the village of Mentesbey and its 19th century vernacular home environments within their socio-cultural context. Mentesbey was once a prominent center for kadis, Ottoman state officials and judges. The profession of kadilik played an important role in the social development of the village that in turn affected the domestic architecture, which can be grouped into two as kadi and standard houses. Mentesbey houses constitute a good example for tracing "home", "continuity of use" and "status" in the Ottoman house as some are still inhabited by the families descending both from the lineage of kadis and other families of the 19th century. Seventeen of these houses are documented with their plans, photographs and inhabitants in the study. This study is also an initial step for the possible cultural, architectural and historical studies in and around Mentesbey in the future, and most of all for preserving Mentesbey and its houses for the coming generations.